NEWSOME athlete Bev Thomas has added another success to her many sporting achievements.
Bev, 47, took to the water and swam 10½ miles across Windermere last Saturday.
And the mother-of-two revealed it was the first time she had swum competitively since she was 15 - and she had only been training for the gruelling event since June.
Bev, of Blagden Lane, won the breaststroke trophy in the British Long Distance Swimming Association championships after completing the race in 8hr, 1min and 37 sec.
"Preparing physically for the swim wasn't too bad, because I'm reasonably fit anyway," said Bev, who has run four London Marathons.
"But mentally it's very hard, with nothing to occupy your brain.
"I did my times tables, up to 33 times, sang songs and looked at things on the horizon."
Bev, a communications support worker at Lowerhouses Junior, Infant and Nursery School, said she felt "absolutely fantastic" after completing the race.
She was among 37 other swimmers taking part in the competition, which had a time limit of nine hours.
Swimmers can stop during the swim to eat and drink, but must tread water and cannot hold on to the boat accompanying them.
Bev had just two cups of coffee, a banana and a cereal bar during the eight-hour swim.
But she said she had a few gin and tonics after the race to celebrate.
During the race Bev was supported by her father, Carl Walker, a past president of the association, and sons Daniel, 22 and Matthew, 18, who crewed the rescue boat.
Bev is now back to her running, preparing for next year's London Marathon.
In April, Bev and training partner Raymond Carroll, of Newsome, completed their fourth marathon in 4hr 31min. They were raising cash for Leukaemia Research.